Posted by StreetWise in Magazine Articles
Legislation to change the ban on concealed carry in Illinois is in Gov. Pat Quinn’s hands.
This bill passed on May 31, shortly before the General Assembly ended its session. The Senate passed the bill with 45-12-1. The House vote was 89-28.
Illinois is the only state without a legal provision for residents to carry concealed firearms. If Gov. Quinn were to sign this bill, residents would be allowed to carry a concealed handgun, provided they complete the process of applying for a five-year concealed carry weapon (CCW) license, pay the required fees, and prove proficiency in a 30-round live fire test.
Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, said the legislation takes a big step in the wrong direction. “While there are some good parts of the bill – i.e., 16 hours of training – we think the preemption piece on the bill goes too far,” Daley said. (In an editorial, the Chicago Sun-Times noted that the bill would prohibit county and municipal governments from enacting stronger limits than in the state bill).
“The 7th Circuit said we needed a carry bill passed and this bill not only relates to carry but also some local existing guns laws and we do not support that,” Daley said.
Daley also said the bill fails to address simple statistical reporting on CCW license holders. An applicant with three strikes would be automatically rejected from a CCW license but in some situations, two strikes would not exclude someone from a license.
The ICHV is also critical of a section of the legislation that allows people to carry concealed guns into restaurants where liquor is served, but less than half its sales are for food. “We do not believe that guns and alcohol should mix whatsoever,” Daley said.
A Chicago Tribune story on June 21 said Quinn’s strategy might be trying to save face with the public while still allowing lawmakers to get what they voted for. “The governor will veto or make changes to the bill and lawmakers then will override him and put the law on the books.”
“I feel bad for the governor,” Daley told the Tribune. “I wouldn’t want to be in his position.”
By Torey Darin
StreetWise Editorial Intern